Roman Catholic devotees in northern Philippines nailed themselves to crosses today as hundreds gathered to watch the annual Good Friday crucifixion re-enactment.

Two inch nails were hammered through the hands and feet of the nine penitents, eight local men and one Danish filmmaker, by men dressed as Roman centurions before they were hung for several minutes on wooden crosses in the small village of Cutud.

The re-enactments are a mixture of local folk beliefs and the global Christian faith, although church leaders have spoken against the practice which attracts large crowds each year in the northern Pampagna province.

Afterwards, the men are carefully brought down and treated immediately by on-site clinics.


Speaking to ITN, one devotee explained why he had endured the ritual seven times: "I feel lighter and it feels good after being crucified. It feels like all the sins you've committed are washed away."

Although frowned upon by church authorities, crucifixion re-enactments take place across the Philippines on Good Friday to celebrate Christ's life.

Only locals can partake in the rituals in some villages after an Australian comic using a fake name was crucified and in 1996 a Japanese citizen attempted to get ailed to the cross as part of a porn film.

However, San Pedro Cutud is among the few that allows foreigners to take part - attracting even bigger crowds.